TIME Austria

More than 20 Migrant Bodies Found in Truck in Austria

The truck could contain as many as 50 bodies

(PARNDORF, Austria) — Austrian police on Thursday discovered the badly decomposing bodies of at least 20 — and possibly up to 50 — migrants stacked in a truck parked on the shoulder of the main highway from Budapest to Vienna.

The shocking find came as Austria hosted a summit in Vienna on Europe’s refugee crisis for Western Balkan nations, which have been overwhelmed this year by the tens of thousands of migrants trying to get into Europe via their territory.

Police ordered reporters at the scene 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Vienna to move away from the vehicle, a white refrigeration truck with pictures of chicken on it. The truck, with all the bodies still inside, was later taken away to a secure location so forensic experts could better examine it.

The state of the bodies on a hot summer day made establishing the identities and even the exact number of dead migrants difficult, but the total number could rise to 50, said Hans Peter Doskozil, chief of the Burgenland police.

Police spokesman Helmut Marban said police stopped shortly before noon Thursday thinking that the parked truck had some mechanical trouble. Then they “saw blood dripping” from the vehicle and “noticed the smell of dead bodies,” he said.

The truck was apparently abandoned Wednesday and its back door was left open, Doskozil said. It had Hungarian license plates but the writing on its side and back was in Slovak. The state of the bodies suggested the migrants could have been dead for several days.

Police said the investigation could last for days. They declined to give further information on the victims’ possible identities, whether children were among them, how the migrants may have died or other details.

Government officials and rights groups condemned the traffickers.

“Human smugglers are criminals,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. “Those who still think that they are gentle helpers of refugees are beyond saving.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the refugee crisis conference, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the deadly tragedy showed how critical it was for nations to work together on solutions to the influx of migrants.

“Today refugees lost the lives they had tried to save by escaping, but lost them in the hand of traffickers,” he told reporters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was also at the summit, said she was “shaken by the awful news that up to 50 people lost their lives on their way to look for more security.”

“This reminds us that we in Europe need to tackle the problem quickly and find solutions in the spirit of solidarity,” she said.

The truck apparently used to belong to the Slovak chicken meat company Hyza, part of the Agrofert Holding, which is owned by the Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis.

Agrofert Holding, in a statement, said they had sold the truck in 2014. The new owners did not remove the truck’s logos as required and Hyza has nothing to do with the truck now, the company said.

On one side of the truck was the slogan “Honest chicken,” while writing on the back read “I taste so good because they feed me so well.”

The Hungarian government said the truck’s license number plates were registered by a Romanian citizen in the central city of Kecskemet.

Migrants fleeing war and poverty from the Middle East, Africa and Asia are flocking to Europe by the hundreds of thousands this year.

Many follow the Balkans route, from Turkey to Greece by sea, up north to Macedonia by bus or foot, by train through Serbia and then walking the last few miles into EU member Hungary. That avoids the more dangerous Mediterranean Sea route from North Africa to Italy, where the bodies of 51 migrants were found Wednesday in the hull of a smugglers’ boat rescued off Libya’s northern coast.

Once inside, the 28-nation EU, most migrants seek to reach richer nations such as Germany, The Netherlands,Austria or Sweden.

Hungarian police said they detained 3,241 migrants on Wednesday, over 700 more than a day earlier and the highest number so far this year. The Hungarian government is quickly finishing a razor-wire border fence to keep the migrants from crossing from Serbia.

Amnesty International alleged that EU indecisiveness was partly to blame for the latest migrant tragedy.

“People dying in their dozens – whether crammed into a truck or a ship – en route to seek safety or better lives is a tragic indictment of Europe’s failures to provide alternative routes,” said a statement from the rights group. “Europe has to step up and provide protection to more, share responsibility better and show solidarity to other countries and to those most in need.”

___

George Jahn in Vienna, David Rising in Berlin, Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary, and Karel Janicek in Prague contributed.

TIME Markets

Asian Stocks Rise After Wall Street Rebound

Asia stock market
Kevin Frayer—Getty Images A Chinese day trader reacts as he watches a stock ticker at a local brokerage house in Beijing, on Aug. 27, 2015.

Analysts said there are probably more roller-coaster days ahead

(BEIJING) — China’s key stock market index surged 5.3 percent Thursday, its biggest gain in eight weeks, as markets across Asia rose following Wall Street’s rebound, giving investors some relief after gut-wrenching global losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index, whose steep drop in recent days triggered worldwide selling, gained 5.3 percent to close at 3,083.59 points, bouncing back from losses that wiped some 20 percent off its value over the past week. It was the biggest one-day gain since a 5.5 percent rise on June 30.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.9 percent to 21,697.31 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 1.1 percent to 18,574.44. Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 1.2 percent to 5,233.30 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 1,908.00. Markets in Singapore, Bangkok, New Zealand and Jakarta also rose.

European markets also advanced in early trading. France’s CAC-40 added 2.1 percent to 4,597.36 and Germany’s DAX gained 2.4 percent to 10,240.92.

The gains came after Wall Street rocketed up overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 600 points, or 4 percent. That was its third-biggest point gain of all time and its largest since Oct. 28, 2008.

Traders were encouraged by comments from William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, that the case for a U.S. interest rate hike in September is “less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago,” given China’s troubles, falling oil prices and weakness in emerging markets.

“Traders took the cue to buy,” said Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in a report.

Following a six-year run-up in U.S. stocks that has pushed major indexes to all-time highs, investors worry the economy could falter if the Fed raises rates too soon.

U.S. markets looked set for more gains, with futures for the Dow Jones and S&P both up 0.4 percent.

In currency markets, the dollar rose to 120.2220 yen from Wednesday’s 120.1440 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1327 from the previous session’s $1.1337.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 92 cents to $39.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 71 cents on Wednesday to close at $38.60. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1 to $44.14 in London after losing 7 cents the previous day to close at $44.14.

TIME Colombia

Venezuela and Colombia Vow to Cooperate in Border Dispute

Venezuelan soldiers blocked the river crossing on Wednesday morning

(CARTAGENA, Colombia) — The foreign ministers of Colombia and Venezuela promised to increase cooperation Wednesday following talks to ease heightened tensions caused by the closure of a major border crossing and a weeklong crackdown on Colombian migrants and smugglers.

Diplomats left the meeting in this Caribbean coastal resort without announcing a decision to re-open the border crossing or end the deportations from Venezuela, only saying that defense officials from the two countries would talk in the coming days to form a joint plan for border security.

Meanwhile, in the Colombian city of Cucuta, residents complained of long gas lines as Venezuela’s security offensive cuts off trade, legal and otherwise, between the two nations.

Across the border, scores of Colombians packed their belongings into suitcases and prepared for an army escort out of Venezuela, joining the estimated 1,000 of their compatriots who have already been deported.

Donamaris Ramirez, the mayor of Cucuta, says he plans to order gas stations to remain open 24 hours to attend to demand normally met by curbside smugglers who purchase gasoline in Venezuela at less than a penny a gallon and resell it for huge profits in Colombia.

With two main border crossings closed, the underground economy has come to a halt, satisfying Venezuelan officials who have long blamed transnational mafias for widespread shortages but also jeopardizing the livelihood of tens of thousands of poor Colombians who depend on the black market.

On Tuesday, a group of 100 Colombians fled the border town of San Antonio del Tachira by wading across a knee-deep river with their possession, everything from TVs to doors, slung across their backs.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos offered to help returning Colombians find work during a visit Wednesday to an emergency shelter in Cucuta overrun with deportees, and promised deported citizens a subsidy of about $80 to help them land on their feet.

Earlier, in a speech in Bogota, he ran through a series of economic and crime statistics, everything from projections Venezuela’s economy will shrink 7 percent this year to widespread shortages comparable to those found in war zones like Syria, in a sharp retort to the aggressive rhetoric coming from Caracas in recent days

“Venezuela’s problems are made in Venezuela, they’re not made in Colombia or other parts of the world,” Santos told a forum of former presidents from around the world.

While some 5 million Colombians live in Venezuela, the security offensive has focused on a few towns near the border where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blames migrant gangs for rampant crime and smuggling that has caused widespread shortages.

The crisis was triggered a week ago when gunmen Maduro claimed were paramilitaries linked to former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe shot and wounded three army officers on an anti-smuggling patrol.

The socialist leader has vowed to keep two normally busy international bridges closed, and possibly extend restrictions to other transit crossings until Colombian authorities help bring order to the porous, 1,400-mile (2,200 kilometer) border. A state of emergency allowing the government to restrict peoples’ movement for up to 60 days has been declared in six cities.

Venezuelan soldiers blocked the river crossing on Wednesday morning, but were helping Colombian residents of a slum that is slated for demolition leave Venezuela via a legal bridge crossing.

A group of about 300 Colombians staged a protest Wednesday in front of Venezuela’s consulate in Bogota.

Maduro has angrily denied the denunciations of mistreatment, saying that Venezuelans are unfairly paying the price for Colombia’s disregard of its poor.

“Santos has the gall today to seek respect for Colombians. Who is treating Colombians with disrespect? Those that expel them from their country, deny them work and housing and don’t provide education?” Maduro said on state TV late Tuesday.

The Colombians who abandoned their cinder block homes Tuesday in a riverside shantytown community known as La Invasion — “the Invasion” — said they were given 72 hours to pack up and leave by Venezuela’s army. Officials say the slum has become a haven for paramilitaries and contraband traffickers.

In recent decades, many Colombians have moved to Venezuela, either fleeing from conflict or seeking better opportunities in an oil rich country that was long the wealthier of the two.

Critics have accused Maduro of trying to distract Venezuelans from soaring inflation and empty supermarket shelves.

Under the state of emergency, constitutional guarantees such as the right to protest, carry weapons or move freely will be restricted for 60 days.

“I’m sorry if this is creating a humanitarian crisis in Cucuta, but we are only responsible for protecting people who are Venezuelan,” National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said. “Colombia needs to take care of its own problems.”

__

AP writers Fabiola Sanchez contributed from Caracas, Yhoger Contreras from San Antonio del Tachira and Cesar Garcia and Libardo Cardona from Bogota, Colombia

TIME 2016 Election

Trump Proud of Kicking Jorge Ramos Out of Press Event

Donald Trump
Charlie Neibergall—AP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, on Aug. 25, 2015

"I think I handled that well. I got a lot of credit for it"

(PENSACOLA, Florida) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s proud of kicking one of the country’s best-known Spanish-language journalists out of an Iowa news conference — the latest in a series of clashes with the media.

“I think I handled that well. I got a lot of credit for it,” Trump boasted to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a day after his bodyguards escorted Univision’s Jorge Ramos out of the event.

The latest spat for Trump comes as his rivals continue to grapple with how best to compete against the unpredictable billionaire businessman, who has skyrocketed to the top of summertime polls.

At a campaign event Wednesday in Pensacola, Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sighed when a member of the town hall audience uttered Trump’s name.

“Do we have to talk about this guy?” Bush asked.

Bush went on to criticize Trump’s immigration plan, specifically his proposal to build a massive border wall, calling it impractical and out of step with conservative principles because of its cost.

Trump has said he’ll get the Mexican government to pay for the wall, without specifying how he would do so.

“It is not feasible to build a wall as the sole solution,” Bush said. “It’s a simple thing to say and I’m sure it’s great for our friends in the press, but it’s not practical and it’s not conservative.”

He also criticized Trump’s clash with Ramos, saying all journalists should be treated with “dignity and respect.” He added that Trump needs to be held accountable by reporters.

“Go through these questions,” Bush said, “and what you’ll find is this guy doesn’t have a plan.”

Ramos was ultimately allowed back into Trump’s news conference, and they quickly resumed their argument over his immigrations proposals, interrupting each other during an extended back-and-forth.

The dispute didn’t go unnoticed on the Democratic side of the campaign, as front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on Trump’s immigration rhetoric to argue his positions aren’t all that different from those held by the long list of other Republican candidates.

Speaking at an event in Ankeny, Iowa, she said Trump and his rivals don’t support a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. She said calls from some, including Trump, to repeal the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees birthright citizenship, are “out of touch” and “out of date.”

“Don’t get distracted by the flamboyant front-runner,” she said. “Most of the other Republican candidates are just Trump without the pizazz or the hair.”

Trump’s confrontation with Ramos, an Emmy Award-winning anchor who hosts the evening news program on the biggest Spanish-language network in the U.S., came a day after he resumed his feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Trump welcomed Kelly back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away. Fox News chief Roger Ailes called on Trump to apologize.

Ramos and Kelly commiserated a bit on Kelly’s TV show Wednesday night.

“What is it like to be caught in the crosshairs of a billionaire presidential front-runner?” Kelly asked.

“Well, you know exactly how it feels,” Ramos replied.

During his conversation Wednesday with Ingraham, Trump toned down his attacks against Kelly, saying their spat was “not a death struggle, not a big deal.”

“Actually I watched her show last night. She was very nice and I appreciated it,” he said.

He said he and Ailes had just gotten off a phone call together, and praised the executive as “a good friend of mine” and a “special guy.”

Asked if he was going to continue his Twitter campaign against Kelly, Trump said, “No, I have much bigger things to think about, honestly.”

___

Colvin reported from Newark, New Jersey. Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report from Ankeny, Iowa.

TIME Louisiana

Police Officer Shot, 2 Others Stabbed in Louisiana

Police gather at the scene of a shooting in Sunset, La. on Aug. 26, 2015.
Paul Kieu—The Daily Advertiser/AP Police gather at the scene of a shooting in Sunset, La. on Aug. 26, 2015.

The shooting took place near a convenience store

(SUNSET, La.) — St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz tells news outlets that a man is in custody after allegedly stabbing two people and shooting a police officer who responded in southwest Louisiana.

Guidroz did not identify the man, who drove his car into a nearby convenience store in Sunset, about 70 miles west of Baton Rouge, and barricaded himself inside. The sheriff says officers threw in tear gas and then stormed the JR Food Mart when the man refused to come out.

There was no word on the conditions of the officer or the two people who were stabbed.

TIME Crime

Virginia Gunman Was Escorted Out by Police After Being Fired

"He was not going to leave willingly or under his own free will"

Long before he filmed himself gunning down a TV reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast Wednesday, the man identified as the killer traced a twisted and volatile career path that saw him fired from at least two stations for conflicts with co-workers, leaving memories of an “off-kilter” loner easily angered by office humor.

When the shooter, identified by authorities as Vester Lee Flanagan II, was fired from Roanoke, Virginia, station WDBJ in 2013, he had to be escorted out of the building by local police “because he was not going to leave willingly or under his own free will,” the station’s former news director, Dan Dennison, said in an interview with a Hawaii station, Hawaii News Now (KHNL/KGMB).

Flanagan, 41, had “a long series of complaints against co-workers nearly from the beginning of employment at the TV station,” said Dennison, now an official with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. “All of these allegations were deemed to be unfounded.” Though the claims were along racial lines, he said, “we did a thorough investigation and could find no evidence that anyone had racially discriminated against this man.” The victims of Wednesday’s shooting — reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27 — were white; Flanagan was black.

Hours after he shot his former co-workers then posted video of the attack to his Facebook page, Flanagan crashed a vehicle and shot himself. He died at a hospital later Wednesday, authorities said.

The conflict described by Dennison in many ways echoed another, in 2000, when Flanagan was fired from a Tallahassee, Florida, television station after threatening fellow employees, a former supervisor said.

Flanagan “was a good on-air performer, a pretty good reporter and then things started getting a little strange with him,” Don Shafer, the former news director of Florida’s WTWC-TV said Wednesday in an interview broadcast on Shafer’s current employer, San Diego 6 The CW.

Shafer said managers at the Florida station fired Flanagan because of his “bizarre behavior.”

“He threatened to punch people out and he was kind of running fairly roughshod over other people in the newsroom,” said Shafer, who did not immediately return a call from AP for comment.

Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, who worked with Flanagan at the Florida station, recalled him as “off-kilter” and someone who “never really made himself part of the team.”

Recalling one of a number of incidents, Wilmoth said that co-workers meant to tease Flanagan for a story he did on a spelling bee that made it sound as if the winner would get a case of Girl Scouts, rather than cookies sold by the group.

“The next day, somebody had a Girl Scout emblem on their desk and we made some copies of it and taped them to his computer,” she said. “If he had only laughed we would have all been friends forever. But he didn’t laugh … he got mad. And that was when I realized he wasn’t part of the collegiality that exists in a newsroom and he removed himself from it.”

In 2000, Flanagan sued the Florida station over allegations of race discrimination, claiming that a producer called him a “monkey” in 1999 and that other black employees had been called the same name by other workers. Flanagan also claimed that an unnamed white supervisor at the station said black people were lazy because they did not take advantage of scholarships to attend college. The parties later reached a settlement.

Flanagan grew up in Oakland, California, where he was a homecoming prince one year at Skyline High School. Virgil Barker, who grew up on the same tree-lined street, recalled his childhood friend Wednesday with fondness.

“I know you want to hear that he was a monster, but he was the complete opposite,” Barker said. “He was very, very loving.”

Barker said he had lost touch with Flanagan over the years but remained close to Flanagan’s sister, who still lives in the family’s home across the street.

No one answered the door Wednesday morning at the white stucco house, with fruit trees in the front yard overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Flanagan graduated from San Francisco State University. A former classmate, Pamela Rousseau of Danville, Calif., said Flanagan was a bit “flamboyant” and eager to be the front man when presenting students’ findings.

Before and after his work in Florida, Flanagan, who also appeared on-air using the name Bryce Williams, worked at a series of stations around the country.

They included a stint in 1996 at KPIX, a San Francisco station, where a spokeswoman confirmed he worked as a freelance production assistant. From 1997 to 1999, he worked as a general assignment reporter at WTOC-TV in Savannah, Georgia. From 2002 to 2004, he worked as a reporter and anchor at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina, general manager and vice president John Lewis said.

A former co-worker at the California station, Barbara Rodgers, recalled him only vaguely as “a young, eager kid out of journalism school,” who “just wanted to be on TV and to do a good job.”

Working in Georgia years ago, Flanagan was “tall, good looking and seemed to be really nice, personable and funny,” said a former fellow reporter, Angela Williams-Gebhardt, who now lives in Ohio. The station’s former news director, Michael Sullivan, said Flanagan was relatively inexperienced, but did a decent job, without any apparent problems.

But at Roanoke’s WDBJ, Flanagan “got in lots of arguments with people,” said LaRell Reynolds, a former production worker at the station. “I don’t think anyone liked the guy.”

After managers fired Flanagan, he worked as a call center representative for UnitedHealthcare in Roanoke from late 2013 to November 2014, the company said.

But in the days before the shootings, Flanagan assembled photos of himself on Twitter and Facebook, as if preparing to introduce himself to a wider audience. The postings continued after the shooting, when he tweeted that Parker had “made racist comments” and Ward had complained to human resources about him. Then, Flanagan posted video of the shooting online, showing him repeatedly firing at a screaming Parker as she tried to flee.

In a rambling 23-page letter sent by fax Wednesday to ABC News soon after the shooting, Flanagan said he’d been discriminated against both for being black and gay. He listed grievances dating back to the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech and the more recent massacre of worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

“I’ve been a human powder keg for a while,” Flanagan wrote in the note, “just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”

___

Associated Press reporters Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Florida, Garance Burke in Oakland, California, Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Mississippi, Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia, Kristin Bender in San Francisco and John Raby in Roanoke, Virginia contributed to this story.

Read next: Virginia Gunman Was Urged to Seek Medical Help, According to Internal Memos

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TIME Kentucky

Kentucky Clerk Must Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples, Appeals Court Rules

Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis speaks to a gathering of supporters during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort Ky. on Aug. 22, 2015.
Timothy D. Easley—AP Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis speaks to a gathering of supporters during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort Ky. on Aug. 22, 2015.

Kim Davis could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling ordering a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis objects to issuing same-sex marriage licenses for religious reasons. She stopped issuing marriage licenses the day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on same-sex marriage.

Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. A U.S. district judge ordered Davis to issue the marriage licenses, but later delayed his order so that Davis could have time to appeal to the 6th circuit. Wednesday, the appeals court denied Davis’ request for a stay.

An attorney for Davis said he was disappointed in the ruling and that Davis could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he did not know how Davis would react to the ruling.

TIME weather

Tropical Storm Erika Approaches the Eastern Caribbean

Tropical Storm Erika is pictured in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Venezuela in this NASA handout satellite photo
NASA/Reuters Tropical Storm Erika is pictured in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Venezuela on Aug. 26, 2015

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Governments ordered schools, airports and even casinos to close and they prepared shelters as Tropical Storm Erika approached the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday.

The storm was located about 245 miles (395 kilometers) east-southeast of Antigua and was moving west at 17 mph (28 kph). Maximum sustained winds increased Wednesday morning to near 45 mph (75 kph), but the storm was not forecast to gain strength over the next two days.

Erika was expected to move just north of Barbuda late Wednesday as it enters the Caribbean, said Philmore Mullin, director of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services.

He said the twin-island nation could experience flash flooding given the extremely dry conditions caused by the worst drought to hit the Caribbean in recent years.

“This is a serious storm, and they need to make sure preparations are in place,” he said.

Authorities in the nearby Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten said schools and government offices would be closed on Thursday. They also asked that casinos, restaurants and other businesses close by midnight Wednesday. Officials warned they might temporarily suspend power and water service as the storm approaches.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Erika would move over or near parts of the Leeward Islands on Wednesday night and then near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Thursday.

All airports in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be closed to incoming flights until Friday, and government offices will be closed as well, said Gov. Kenneth Mapp.

“This is a fast-moving storm, and so we expect conditions to deteriorate rapidly,” he said, warning that authorities would not rescue anyone during tropical storm force winds.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands. Erika was expected to dump between 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain, and up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) in some areas.

Antigua-based regional airline LIAT and Puerto Rico-based Seaborne Airlines have canceled more than two dozen flights through Friday because of the storm, and officials in Puerto Rico said they would suspend ferry transportation between the main island and the popular sister islands of Culebra and Vieques starting Thursday.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Ignacio gained some strength. The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased to nearly 60 mph (95 kph), and it was expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Thursday.

Ignacio was centered about 1,425 miles (2,290 kilometers) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and was moving west at 9 mph (15 kph).

___

Associated Press reporter Judy Fitzpatrick in Philipsburg, St. Maarten contributed to this report.

TIME Markets

U.S. Stock Market Closes Sharply Higher After 6-Day Slump

The Dow climbed 619 points on Wednesday

An afternoon surge Wednesday gave the stock market its best day in close to four years, as stocks rebounded from a six-day slump.

The three major U.S. indexes dropped six days in a row heading into Wednesday on concern that China’s economy is weaker than investors had previously thought. That was the longest market slide in more than three years.

The Dow fell about 1,900 points over that period, while the slump wiped more than $2 trillion off the value of S&P 500 companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 619.07 points, or 4 percent, to 16,285. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 72.9 points, or 3.9 percent, to 1,940, giving the index its best day since November 2011. The Nasdaq composite gained 191 points, or 4.2 percent, to 4,697.

Markets have been volatile since China decided to weaken its currency earlier this month. Investors interpreted the move as an attempt to bolster a sagging economy.

Traders are also jittery about the outlook for interest rates. The Federal Reserve has signaled it could raise its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade later this year.

New York Fed President Bill Dudley said Wednesday that the case for a rate increase next month had become “less compelling,” in recent weeks, which may have added fuel to the market gains. However, he also stated that the situation could still change before the Fed’s next policy meeting scheduled for mid-September.

Investors were also following the latest corporate deal and earnings news. Technology stocks were among the biggest gainers.

THE QUOTE: “There’s a lot of cash on the sidelines waiting to get in, so to the extent that there’s any sort of bottom seen, that will increase people’s confidence and boldness,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

ECONOMIC BELLWETHER: The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods, or items expected to last at least three years, rose 2 percent last month after a 4.1 percent gain in June.

Despite the increase, U.S. manufacturers still face a host of problems from a stronger dollar to falling oil prices and turbulence in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

OIL DEAL: Cameron International, a maker of equipment for the oil industry, jumped 41 percent after Schlumberger said it was buying the company in a cash-and-stock deal. Cameron rose $17.46 to $59.93.

NEVER MIND: Monsanto shares climbed 8.6 percent on news that the agricultural products maker has decided to abandon its takeover bid for rival Syngenta. The stock gained $7.66 to $97.08.

EUROPEAN ACTION: Germany’s DAX was down 1.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.7 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Markets in Asia were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 3.2 percent. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent to 21,305.17, and mainland China’s smaller Shenzhen Composite lost 3.1 percent.

ENERGY: The price of oil fell back below $39 a barrel after a U.S. government report showed an unexpected decline in demand for gasoline last week. U.S. oil fell 71 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $38.60.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.17 percent from 2.07 percent late Tuesday. The dollar rose 0.6 percent against the yen to 119.37. The euro dropped 1.3 percent to $1.1380.

METALS: Gold fell $13.70 to $1,124.60 an ounce. Silver dropped 56.9 cents to $14.04 an ounce. Copper fell 6.6 cents to $2.25 a pound.

TIME Civil Rights

Civil Rights Activist Amelia Boynton Robinson Dies at 104

Obit Amelia Boynton Robinson
Jacquelyn Martin—AP President Barack Obama holds hands with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., left, and Amelia Boynton Robinson, right, who were both beaten during "Bloody Sunday," as they walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday," on March 7, 2015.

President Obama pushed her across a bridge in a wheelchair during a commemoration of the 1965 Selma march

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who nearly died while helping lead the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in 1965, championed voting rights for blacks and was the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama, died early Wednesday at age 104, her son Bruce Boynton said.

Boynton Robinson was among those beaten during the voting rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965 that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” State troopers teargased and clubbed the marchers as they tried to cross the bridge. A newspaper photo showing Boynton Robinson, who had been beaten unconscious, drew wide attention to the movement.

Fifty years later, Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, pushed her across the span in a wheelchair during a commemoration.

Boynton Robinson, who was hospitalized in July after having a major stroke, turned 104 on Aug. 18. Her son said she had been living in Tuskegee and was hospitalized in Montgomery. Boynton Robinson’s family said in a written statement that she was surrounded by relatives and friends when she died around 2:20 a.m.

In January, Boynton Robinson attended the State of the Union address as a special guest of Democratic Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, who said Boynton’s 1964 run for Congress paved the way for her. Sewell is Alabama’s first elected black congresswoman. Boynton was the first woman to run on a Democratic ticket in Alabama and the first black woman to run for Congress in the state, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

“Mrs. Boynton Robinson suffered grave injustices on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at the hands of state troopers on Bloody Sunday, yet she refused to be intimidated,” Sewell said in January. “She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, my colleague Rep. John Lewis and thousands of others from Selma to Montgomery and ultimately witnessed the day when their work led to the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

Boynton Robinson had asked Martin Luther King Jr. to come to Selma to mobilize the local community in the civil rights movement. She worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and helped plan the Selma to Montgomery march. She was invited as a guest of honor to attend the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Her role in the event was reprised in the movie “Selma,” where she was portrayed by actress Lorraine Toussaint.

“The truth of it is that was her entire life. That’s what she was completely taken with,” Bruce Boynton said of his mother’s role in shaping the civil rights movement. “She was a loving person, very supportive — but civil rights was her life.”

Boynton Robinson, born in Savannah, Georgia, worked as an educator there and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Selma, Alabama. She educated local residents on food production, nutrition health care and more, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Tuskegee University officials have said Boynton Robinson graduated from the school in 1927 and in recent years donated much of her personal memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s to the university.

Boynton said the family is planning events in his mother’s honor in Tuskegee and is also working to arrange a ceremony at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sept. 8.

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